A culture of accountability

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Daryl J. Hogan Jr.
  • 10th Airlift Squadron first sergeant
"Am I my brother's keeper?" is arguably one of the most profound questions ever asked. As members of the greatest fighting force in the world, our answer should always be, "Yes." We are all the keepers of our brothers and sisters in arms.

Regardless of our backgrounds, career fields and ranks, together we represent the fabric of a culture where each individual Airman is accountable for himself or herself and every other Airman around them.

The phrase, "But I'm just a..." is often completed with an individual's rank and followed by an excuse for failure to take action. Unfortunately, the failure to act or correct a wrong can result in the degradation of military image, injury or even worse, fatality. The price for being unwilling to embrace and enforce a culture of accountability while on and off duty is far too much for any of us to pay.

Each Airman's spouse, children, parents, relatives and friends trust that every other blue-suiter is looking out for the best interest of their loved one. That wingman culture is just one of the things that separate us from much of society outside of the gate. It's reflected in every aspect of our daily lives from correcting uniform infractions to promoting year-round "always ready" physical fitness; from utilizing operational risk management to meticulously following technical orders; from identifying uncharacteristic changes in our Airmen to refusing to let our nation's "sword and shield" drive under the influence of alcohol.

Accountability is the backbone of our Air Force culture and that is something to be proud of. Every day that we launch an aircraft, prevent a mishap, progress toward our organizational goals and bring Airmen home safely is a day that we are successful.

As stated in Air Force Instruction 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, "...Airmen must: Detect and correct conduct and behavior that may place themselves or others at risk."

It's just part of our culture. Am I my Airmen's keeper? "Yes I am."